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Roc Away

Zack Ryder: More Serious Than You Know It (Bro)

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Hello everybody, my first blog here but that doesn't matter. Let my opinions be judged for what they're worth.

I'm discussing Zack Ryder and his use of the Internet and social media to get himself noticed. Before he was featured in a blog post on this site way back about 12 weeks into Z:TLIS, I couldn't care less about him. But after watching more and examining his methods, I think he deserves a lot more credit and his recent push is quite deserved.


First off, I have no illusions that his character is silly and a goofball. A fruity purple-and-orange palette, oversize shades, that horrible spray-on tan etc, all these things do not make a future main-eventer. Heck he won't even be winning the mid-tier championships with this gimmick (necessitating the creation of his own Internet title). But all this is missing the point. Ryder knows this gimmick is not meant for the kind of glory and recognition above. But he's taking the idea and running with it, milking it for what its worth. Everyone has to pay their dues in this business first. Look at The Rock. He debuted with fancy tassels dangling off him. And Edge, he was a vampire, and then an utter goofball with Christian, albeit quite successful in the tag-realm. These superstars didn't start as superstars, they had some goofy gimmick to begin with. Remember how (Deacon) Batista started? So I reiterate, Ryder is paying is dues by being a hard worker in spite of his silly character, and actually trying to be a success because of his silly character.

Next, look closely at Ryder's use of catchphrases:
-The like me on Facebook, follow me on twitter spiel
-Woo Woo Woo, You Know It
-His 'call-me' handsign
-and Are You Serious Bro?

Corny and lame as these may be, they suit his character perfectly. And giving the catchphrases exposure gives his character something for people to identify with. Something to recall and chant along too if they so wish. Again, I'll back this up with examples. Hulk Hogan had his whole finger pointin, crowd popping thing. Y2J had his awfully inane lines like "Never...everrrrr" but they suited his arrogant character. The Rock had a ton of gold lines and actions, best used to further his tweener character. Cena's moves appealed when he had the rapper character, and continue to appeal to young kids today. If you do something long enough, people will remember it and this predictability and familiarity with a character helps one get over with the fans.

My point being, when Ryder does his schtick on his show or on TV, I find myself being drawn to suspend disbelief, immerse myself into the show and chant along, even though the "reality" part of my mind knows its quite lame. But isn't this whole suspension of disbelief thing part and parcel of wrestling, even a fundamental requirement? Who didn't mark out in Hogan's prime when he dropped the leg drop? We knew it didn't hurt, but we bought into the idea that it was supposed to hurt. Same for the People's Elbow, which looked even less hurtful than the leg drop, but we bought into it anyway because the Rock had the whole character to go along with it.

So, Zack Ryder is actively developing a character, with the assorted lines and moves that make people care about the character. That alone is much better than WWE is doing with most characters, dropping superstars into the ring and hoping that the can somehow generate a connection with the crowd. Basic storytelling, create a compelling character, and even if its not realistic or rational, make it interesting enough so that people buy into the story. After all, we know wrestling is staged, so when we watch it we want to be entertained, and Zack Ryder is slowly building up a good base of skills for that.

Thanks for reading!

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Comments

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  1. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    There is a fine line between being a goofy funny wrestler and being a comedy act in wrestling.... Ryder isnt that great on the mic, he looks out of place, he relys on his catch phrases... His in Ring work has been poor to say the least... you got guys like Trent Barreta, Curt Hawkins, Tyson Kid and before his release Chris Masters busting their ass in the ring on a internet show, while Zack Relyed on his catch phrases and his Youtube show.... Ryder wants to be a star? than step up in the ring, If not you will end up like a santino Morrella.

    See here is the Thing, Y2J had a silly charecter also, but the thing about him, is he backed it up on the mic, Sold the match and was funny and goofy. He also backed it up in the ring. but it wasnt till recently when he changed the charecter to the more serious one we seen before he left did he really get accepted in to the main event picture.

    Deacon Batista is a speciment, he is huge and he didnt stay deacon Batista he evolved (No pun intended) So his examples dont apply to zack Ryder.

    The Rock Didnt stay the crappy Rocky Mavia boring face, No he changed things up and he kept getting better, he backed it up in the ring also by having good IC title matches and selling matches on the mic.

    Ryder is funny on his show, but he looks out of place in the ring when cutting a promo. He might be a good comedy act but being funny doesnt mean you are good on the mic, You got to sell fueds and sell matches and Ryder isnt able to do that.... Ryder is being lazy and consantrating on his charecter being silly instead of tweaking it.
  2. kersh's Avatar
    i agree
    the main reason why i like the whole zack approach is how, even when the writers had nothing for him he went out and built a fan base himself. it was the fist time any wrestler had done it on such a scale. word of mouth and re-links made the videos more and more popular.

    ill be honest if he hadn't started this 30 weeks ago he would be seeing a "long island tag team" in TNA
  3. Roc Away's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments!

    Crippler, I agree with you that Ryder's ring skills aren't the best, and he doesn't deserve main event status based on his current work. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the better wrestlers get the push. Ryder has received his push at the expense of those people. One could say that he got lazy/impatient and tried to use comedy skills to get one up over those guys. One could also give him the benefit of the doubt, and say that he tried to get noticed, and succeeded somewhat in trying a new area to get over. The jury is out on whether his methods will really bring success, selling merchandise alone does not a superstar make. But if Ryder uses his increased exposure to improve ring and mic skills, changing things up, he could one day evolve beyond this character just like Y2J and the Rock
  4. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Roc Away
    Thanks for the comments!

    Crippler, I agree with you that Ryder's ring skills aren't the best, and he doesn't deserve main event status based on his current work. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the better wrestlers get the push. Ryder has received his push at the expense of those people. One could say that he got lazy/impatient and tried to use comedy skills to get one up over those guys. One could also give him the benefit of the doubt, and say that he tried to get noticed, and succeeded somewhat in trying a new area to get over. The jury is out on whether his methods will really bring success, selling merchandise alone does not a superstar make. But if Ryder uses his increased exposure to improve ring and mic skills, changing things up, he could one day evolve beyond this character just like Y2J and the Rock
    Actually Ryder is a decent in the ring, I remember in the new ECW he was making a wave and having decent matches.... Ryder just chooses not to advance and choose gimick over talent... Like i said he has to add a little more serious to his charecter and keep himself from being a hornswoggle.
  5. Chazztastic's Avatar
    Good assessment. What nobody can deny is that Ryder actually used Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook way before the WWE realized how effective those tools are. Ryder figured out a way to be popular with very little help from the WWE. He didn't just sit and wait for something to come. He did something about it. In-ring skills can be honed, but to have a wrestler be able to sell WWE merchanise (i.e. t-shirts) with very minimal TV time is rarity, and that's what Ryder has done. He maybe silly and his look maybe stupid, but you have to applaud his tenacity in garnishing attention with the WWE Universe.
  6. Van-Wilder's Avatar
    I actually think Zack is better in the ring than you guys give him credit for. I'm sure we'd see more from him if he was given longer in the ring. And besides, every roster needs a jobber anyway. And I'd rather see him lose than not at all. At least he'd entertain me. Which, from a fans point of view, is all that matters right?
  7. Sahu's Avatar
    I donno why ppl on internet likes him..I never liked him inside the ring..si I give a damn fr him.....I never saw his Internet shows..I watched him inside the ring only n he never impressed me...
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